16:37 GMT04 April 2020
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    In 2016, only two European states Greece and Estonia met the aim to spend two percent of their GDP on defense, down from four European states that met this measure 2015, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The United Kingdom is not meeting the NATO requirement to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said in a report on Tuesday.

    "In 2016, only two European states Greece and Estonia met the aim to spend two percent of their GDP on defense, down from four European states that met this measure 2015. The UK dips slightly below this at 1.98 percent, as its economy grew faster in 2016, than its defense spending," the report read.

    The report came ahead of the upcoming NATO defense ministers summit, which will take place on Wednesday in Brussels.

    In January, British Prime Minister Theresa May promised US President Donald Trump to encourage other European allies to meet the defense spending target, which amounts to two percent of GDP.

    Trump has repeatedly criticized NATO, threatening to decrease the support for those European NATO states who failed to fulfill their obligations as part of the military alliance, particularly in the sphere of defense spending.

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    NATO, Greece, Estonia, United Kingdom
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